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Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Paine

July 15, 2009

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To the editor:

In my earlier letter I did not say that Thomas Paine was a Christian. Early in his life he was a member of an organized Christian group (Church of God, I believe) and moved gradually away from that so that by the end of his life he had declared he was a deist in the “Age of Reason.” As far as I remember, he had not declared himself a deist at the time of the revolution and had written on several issues within the Christian community. I think that many if not most of his writings were influenced by his early association with Christianity.

As an example, in his discourse on “The Study Of God,” Paine said, “It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles. He can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.” (You really ought to read the whole speech.)

This is very much in line with Christian thinking and is the example I was thinking of when I made my original statement.

Miller is from Lawrence

Comments

Larry Miller 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't have a clue on WallBuilders nor do I care.

My point was that at the time, Paine was not yet publicly a deist and was making statements that were very Protestant-like.

After reading your post again I think I have a different view of early America. Probably most influenced by Ben Franklin's writings. It is my opinion that the "founding fathers" did not want a religious test in any way related to any government function. They did think that each individual person should use the morals, ethics, and behavior of a Christian - whether or not they were a believer.

And I don't see that happening much, especially in government, lately.

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devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

Thomas Paine:

"Christian Nationalist view of America, a view which is counter to the most basic principles of freedom, equality, and secular government which emerged at the founding of our country."

"dominionist propaganda organization WallBuilders, are meant to spread this mythology of Christian supremacy in our political life"

Overwrought maybe, Mr. Paine?

What about environmental dominionism?

For the same reason Al Gore can legally raise $300 million to promote global warming scares and environmentalist remedies, Hobby lobby can raise a few tens of thousands of bucks and run some adds in the paper regarding their view of principles of the founders.

Don't agree with one or the other? Raise your own money and run your own ad.

Think that they are spreading falsehoods? Join the club. We live in a world of constant marketing, sales, propaganda, influence, nuance, witness, overt yelling and screaming, falsehoods,....... Hi I'm Billy Mays!!!!

Like I've said in other posts, liberty was the interest of the day of Thomas Paine. You know, like the freedom to buy an ad in the LJW.

Today, the interest is political power. Power for Christians and social contructivists alike. Your argument with Mr. Miller is whether the Founders were Christians and whether they wrote the Dec of Ind and the Constitution and other documents from a perspective of Christianity or not.

Yet, the laws of this country are predominantly written by secular lawyers to collect taxes, and regulate transportation, business, etc. There are very few laws that would be deemed "Christian" laws. Yet, the government continues to expand its influence on our lives.

Tax code: Byzantine Health Care: Amazingly complex and proscriptive Environmental Law: Indecipherable to small and medium size business

It is guaranteed that everyone in this country is breaking a law on a regular basis.
I don't fear the Christians, even though I am not one. I fear the people who want to control me, regardless of their philosophy. This should trouble all of us, but doesn't.

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supertrampofkansas 5 years, 1 month ago

After reading both of Mr. Miller's letters, I still can't figure what it is he wants to say? Can you shed any light on this Larry? It is quite clear to me that you can find contradicting quotes for everyone and even put them on a timeline. But who cares. What is your point Larry?

I don't have any qualms with the idea that this nation was founded by Christians. Heck, is not any stretch of the imagination to think that everybody coming from Western Europe back then was a Christian by default. But again who cares?

I agree with Devo. This is simply about political power. Everything else is smokescreen.

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BrianR 5 years, 1 month ago

There are still misfits out there who believe the Earth is an orb when, in fact, anyone who knows anything can tell you, the Earth is flat.

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Larry Miller 5 years, 1 month ago

  1. the original statement was that the "founding fathers" were deists.
  2. I have demonstrated that that was not true.
  3. Then the discussion over Paine. I have demonstrated that he did put forth views that were the same as a Christian point of view.
  4. Paine was not a publicly proclaimed deist at the time we were discussing. His "Age of Reason" lost him any support in America.

I think the WallBuilders is a response to various groups who are pushing their beliefs on Christians. An example: Forcing the Catholic Church to hire people who believe in abortion.

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